Letter – to Mother Hedwig Wielhorska, Discalced Carmelite

Hedwig Joseph Teresa Wielhorska (1836-1911), daughter 564. of Count John Wielhorski and Countess Christina Szlubowska. In 1857 she entered the monastery of the Carmelites in Bagneres-de-Bigorre. At her investiture she was given the name S. Hedwig of the Cross, but she made her profession under the name of S. Hedwig of St. John of the Cross. After her profession she was transferred to the Carmel of Carcassone. Upon the request of Archbishop L. Przyluski and his successor M. Ledochowski, and with the blessing of Pope Pius IX, she founded a Carmel in Posen (1867). During the regime of the Kulturkamf, in consequence of the religious persecutions, the Posen Carmel was transferred to Cracow and joined with the Carmel on Wesola Street. A year later, M. Hedwig founded a Carmel on Lobzow Street in Cracow where she took residence together with the Belgian Carmelites with whom she came to Posen. In 1879 she left for Carcassone and after her return she lived with the FElicians on Smolensk Street in Cracow. Upon the request of Bishop A. Dunajewski, she founded a Carmel in Wieliczka (1880) which, however, did not survive. After a few years she went to Rome and there founded a Carmel in the convent of St. Bridget (1889). In addition, she founded two otehr Carmelite monasteries in Italy: in Leola, the diocese of Gaeta (1906) and in Porto Maurizio in Liguria (1907). To date there exists only the Carmel in Rome which in 1957 was transferred from St. Bridget's to Via del Casaletto, 564.

Mother Hedwig upon the request of Sister Mary Joseph Mikulinska, Felician Sister, donated 10.000 zlotys for candles to be burned in the Church on Smolensk Street in Cracow during the daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The money came from the estate she inherited from her uncle Joseph and so she donated the fund in his name.

Cracow, May 21, 1893

Most Reverend Mother:

Although entirely unknown to you, I dare to write to you because I urgently wish to send at least a few words of humble and sincere thanks for the offering for the sanctuary light which you had sent through His Eminence, the Cardinal.

I know, Mother, that having God's glory in mind, you do not need any thanks; however, to satisfy my own heart, I am prompted to send you these few words of gratitude for the favor extended to our poor Congregation that will ever remain indebted to you for the privilege of Perpetual Exposition. Were it not for your generosity, we might have had to renounce that joy because unable to ensure a fixed fund for lighting we might have been refused permission for continuous Exposition. I realize that for such a favor it is impossible to give adequate thanks so I will not strain myself to express it in words. I can only assure you that our love for you will never die in our hearts. We will make them known in prayer at the feet of Jesus, asking him to compensate for us by pouring upon you an abundance of graces and blessings.

After receiving the news about the daily Exposition from His Eminence, the Cardinal, and your proffered sum, we, at the motherhouse made a novena of adorations and other prayers for your intentions, Mother, and also for the repose of the soul of your uncle, Joseph. All the local homes were instructed to make a novena also and thus the entire community placed at the feet of our Lord united sentiments of thanks. For the soul of Joseph there will always be a prayer during Mass after the elevation of the chalice, since I have the habit of offering the Precious Blood for deceased benefactors to whom we are indebted.

Placing you, Reverend Mother, in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, I entrust myself to your holy prayers.

Your Servant in Christ

s. Mary Angela, Felician